David J. Hutson, Ph.D.

I am an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Penn State University-Abington in the Psychological and Social Sciences Program.

My research investigates health and fitness culture in the U.S. through the lens of gender, medical sociology, and the body. Specifically, I am interested in studying the meanings of body weight (both contemporary and historical), bodily changes involving diet and exercise, and how broader health and fitness discourses are influenced by the institution of medicine. Much of my research utilizes the framework of "bodily capital"—a multi-faceted concept including appearance, attractiveness, and physical ability that provides a way to understand why people invest time and money into their bodies, and what they expect to receive in return.

Currently, I am conducting an analysis of how contemporary BMI categories evolved during WHO meetings throughout the 1990s, and concluding a project interviewing pregnant and recently pregnant women about the experience of putting on and trying to take off “baby weight.”

Research Interests: Health; Gender; Body/Embodiment; Inequality; Culture; Qualitative Methods.

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